Why the M1 MacBook Air is the best Mac ever

The MacBook Air lineup is stronger than ever, but maybe not for the reasons you think. Yes, the MacBook Air M2 and M3 are great computers. But do you know what a great computer is? The MacBook Air M1, especially when it's available for under $700.

In fact, it's probably the best value for money Mac ever made.

The M1 MacBook Air is a steal

Last week, Walmart announced it was teaming up with Apple for selling the MacBook Air M1 for $699 is an incredible deal considering that just a few weeks ago Apple was selling it for $999. Following Walmart's announcement, Best Buy subsequently reduced the price of the MacBook Air M1 to $649.

While Walmart appears to have a lot of inventory in stock, Best Buy's M1 MacBook Air stock appears to be replenishing quickly.

The M1 chip's performance isn't quite on par with the M2 or M3, but you'll be hard-pressed to notice a difference between the M1, M2 or M3 in their performance. basic configurations. Any one of them will cope with the vast majority of tasks you give it. It's only on the higher-end models that you really notice big differences in performance.

The only thing the M1, M2 and M3 MacBook Air have in common is the base model's RAM and storage configurations:

  • M1 MacBook Air for $699: 8 GB RAM/256 GB internal memory.
  • MacBook Air for $999: 8GB RAM/256GB internal storage
  • $1,099 M3 MacBook Air: 8GB RAM/256GB storage

The design of the M1 MacBook Air is showing its age, but that's primarily due to the bezels around the display. The wedge-shaped form factor is still iconic today, and some people even prefer it to the flat, modern design language of the MacBook Air.

The vast majority of people want a MacBook right now—whether upgrading from an Intel computer or buying your first Mac, you should start by considering the M1 MacBook Air. Then there are a few questions to ask:

  • Do you need support for two external displays?
    • If yes: buy an M3 MacBook Air.
  • Do you need more than 8 GB RAM/256 GB internal memory?
    • If so: Find inventory through Best Buy/Amazon or set up a custom order through Apple.
  • Do you need an additional USB-C port?
    • If yes: buy a MacBook Air M2 or M3.

If none of this matters to you, then the M1 MacBook Air is the Mac for you.

I have a hard time thinking of a Mac that would ever be as good a deal as the M1 MacBook Air is right now. The M2 Mac mini costs $599 (or $499 for education buyers), but you'll have to bring your own display, keyboard, and mouse. The base configuration of the M2 Mac mini also starts with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage.

Let's summarize

Another fun discovery that came to me last week: the MacBook Air M1 is now cheaper than iPad Pro. The price difference between the iPad Pro and MacBook Air has always been puzzling, but now it's taken to another level. I'm hard-pressed to think of a reason why anyone would buy an iPad Pro instead of a MacBook Air for most tasks.

We've heard a few different reports that Apple may be planning to release a low-cost MacBook that will compete with Chromebooks. Right now, the MacBook Air M1 fills that spot in Apple's lineup, and does it well.

What do you think of the current MacBook Air lineup? Is this the strongest Mac lineup we've ever seen? Did Apple do the right thing by keeping the M1 MacBook Air on hand? Let us know in the comments.

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